Since Kobe Bryant‘s tragic passing in January, the future of his signature Nike Basketball line has been shrouded in mystery. Now, the intrigue around the Los Angeles Lakers‘ legend and future Basketball Hall of Famer’s sneakers is growing with the reveal of a Kobe 5 Protro “Big Stage.” Some of the Mamba’s loyal fans have called for Nike to continue releasing his signature footwear in tribute, while others argued that the line should be shelved out of respect. From a product standpoint, all that’s released is the Mamba Rage — a budget friendly takedown shoe — although a “Lakers” colorway was also briefly previewed before being indefinitely shelved earlier in the year. However, the “Big Stage” is unquestionably the most heritage-packed posthumous Kobe yet.
A combination of the Kobe 5 “Big Stage Home” and Bryant’s “Parade” PE, the “Big Stage” is all about championship glory. Presented in a victorious white, black and gold color scheme, the “Big Stage” uses bold “Parade” print in black instead of PE blue on the left shoe’s lateral side and the right shoe’s medial side, then flips the script with crisp tonal “Big Stage” hits on the left shoe’s medial half and the right shoe’s lateral half.
Tongues and laces continue the yin-and-yang of style with alternating black/white (left) and white/black (right) builds. Swooshes and heels, however are uniform across both feet with a bold gold hue. Finally, EVA midsoles complete the look with a 50/50 black and white mix that follows the upper’s patterns and offer twice as much Zoom Air as the original Kobe for high-grade performance.
Although the Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Big Stage” has been rumored and speculated for months, it recently popped up at retailers like Nice Kicks for the first time ever with a tentative release date of July 1. If it does in fact release, the retail price will be $180 USD.
Stay tuned for further Kobe updates, and check out Nike Basketball’s latest EYBL PEs while you’re at it.